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It is sad that, when picking a category for this entry, I have to choose sports AND politics

Celebrating the loss of the Olympic bid?  Certain Conservatives have really outdone themselves on this one.  It is amazing that we are so partisan where even the merits of an Olympic bid is split down ideological lines.  What they seem to have forgotten is that the Olympics should be a time where people could set aside their differences and compete for athletic glory.  Naive? Maybe.  But the fact remains that this bid was not a Democratic bid or an Obama bid.  This bid represented the American Olympic Committee – it was an American bid.  This was not a loss for Obama or a loss for Chicago.  This was a loss for America.  Celebrating an American loss is not patriotic.  It has been said for many years that big electoral problem that Democrats had was that the Republicans “had the flag.” Well, those cheering this loss lose their right to claim the flag.  The games being in the USA again, and in Chicago, would have been an incredible opportunity for us to remind the world that we are more than an army.  It would have been a fabulous thing for this country.

But don’t take my word for it.  Let’s hear what George W. Bush had to say about the prospect of the games being in this country again. 

They say that the Olympics will come to Chicago if we’re fortunate enough to be selected, but really it’s coming to America, and I can’t think of a better city to represent the United States than Chicago,” Bush said.  He added, “This country supports your bid, strongly.”  You can see the full article with that quote here. 

Sir, I am sad to say that you were wrong.  The country does not support the American bid.  There is a segment of your party that wants Obama to fail at anything.  Even if it means costing the USA the glory (and stimulus) that comes with hosting the games.   Very very sad.

I’m going to give Roland Martin the last word here. 

So, to all the critics happy about us losing the 2016 games, turn in your flag lapel pins and stop boasting of being so patriotic. When an American city loses, like New York did in the last go-round, we all lose. And all you critics are on the same level as the America haters all across the world.  You should be shouted down for not backing your own country. The next time any of you bang out a press release about “Buy American” or “Support our troops,” remember this moment when your cynical, callous and small-minded brains happily rejoiced when America lost the 2016 Olympic Games.

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How do these people sleep at night…

I pride myself on trying to understand and respect people whose opinions I disagree with.  The only way we are going to move forward in our country is by listening to each other and focusing on constructive dialogue rather than political posturing.  How in the world the President addressing students on the importance of staying in school can become a political issue is beyond me.  (Aside from the obvious point that asking them to write letters on how they can help the President was certainly inartful at best…)  Like it or not there are people in this country who have NO interest in making the USA a better place if it means the other guy might get the credit.  And these people will do whatever they can to discredit and defeat that person, and that is just sad to me.

Back to the article though…after 8 years of a president who governed a state that was at the bottom in educational achievement, it is refreshing to have a President who understands the importance of kids staying in school and helping them achieve their potential (here’s hoping that goes beyond words and into meaningful reforms, but that’s another topic).  The fact that people are boycotting the President delivering a message to students is shameful…simply shameful.  How can we teach our kids to listen to others if we censor the words of our opponents.    

Couple of quotes from the article I want to highlight:

1. As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality,” said Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell. “This is something you’d expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.”

               WHAT????????????  Sen. Russell, why you are comparing a speech by a democratically elected president to actions by dictators who ruthlessly kill and detain their own citizens?  Does that make sense?

2. Arizona state schools superintendent Tom Horne, a Republican, said lesson plans for teachers created by Obama’s Education Department “call for a worshipful rather than critical approach.”

               Come again Mr. Horne?  Obama promotes a worshipful approach?  You mean the guy who doesn’t think we should teach the bible as fact and who taught in law school (which is all about critical analysis) is worshipful…umm, I think I’m terrified that this guy is a school superintendent.

To me these comments illustrate the importance of our kids staying in school…maybe the next generation can turn out leaders who aren’t close-minded and who care more about improving lives than getting their name in the paper. 

I don’t like that Democrats went after Bush for doing this in 1991 and I don’t like it now.   I suppose the difference is that Bush made the speech right before his election and used it to talk about his educational policies and plans while Obama will be using the speech to, according to the White House, make “a plea to students to really take their learning seriously. Find out what they’re good at. Set goals. And take the school year seriously.” 

Please explain how you can be opposed to that?